The beach hut is a familiar sight along the sand and shingle beaches of seaside towns in the UK. The first beach huts were converted wheeled bathing machines, fisherman’s huts and sheds set up for the benefit of the working classes. Where might you find the first purpose built beach huts? Why, you’d find them here in Bournemouth. I’m told the very first one, built in 1909, is still here and fully equipped with a Blue Plaque to let passers-by know of its claim to fame. I’ll have to look out for it.
They are popular. In summer, providing the weather is favourable, most of them will be occupied, doors flung open, deck chairs spilling onto the promenade. But even in winter you’ll find some hardy types putting them to good out-of-season use. They’re not cheap though. Some are privately owned. Most seem to be council owned. You’ll pay between £30 and £50 per day depending on season. Weekly rentals range between £50 to £195. Fancy renting one for a whole year? For a hut at Boscombe West you’ll need to fork out £2,500.
Along our favourite stretch of beach, which ventures into the realms of Poole Council, you’ll be asked to pony up anything between £1727 and £3103. It depends where the beach hut of your choice lies and just how grand it is. Not all beach huts are equal, by any means.